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Solefald - World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud

Friday, January 16, 2015 - Posted by Indie Recordings, in Albums

World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud sees Solefald return to 1999’s postmodern album Neonism both lyrically and musically, entailing massive complexity. At the centre of the new album concept lies the idea of the Kosmopolis, or the World City. In Antiquity, Athens and then Rome were seen as the capitals of the world; in modern times, cities such as Paris, London and Berlin have all competed to be the Kosmopolis.

Over the last decade, Solefald have developed an epic, Norse-oriented expression. While writing World Metal, fellow composer goats Lars Are Nedland and Cornelius von Jackhelln took a good, long look in the mirror, and discovered that in their narrow focus on the Northern hemisphere, they had forgotten about much of the world. Thus, World Metal attempts at filling that rather considerable gap.

Lars Are Nedland comments: «Solefald has always been an adventurous band. With the band turning 20 in 2015, we found it was time to let our music travel and explore the world. And boy, did it travel; To the icy north for the cold metal that we hold so dear. To the hot, colourful continent of Africa for the intense rhythms that form the fundament that all rock music stands on. To India for the electronic beats that accompany the hallucinogenic trips of fat European tourists in batik sarongs, and to some obscure places that we really still have no clue about for just a touch of madness. Our music has travelled, our music has come home, and World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud is the result.»

Cornelius von Jackhelln comments: «World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud is an ecstatic album exploring widely different sounds, styles and languages, yet attaining oneness through Solefald’s Mysterious Song writing Ways. The guitar sound has been beefed up and stomped on, with twin Rat and Metal Zone distortion and Wah putting the axe back in power. In a tense world situation, World Metal has Solefald rediscover their initial playfulness and experimentation. We want to make our listeners laugh and cry, to make them attain ecstasy through music.»

Lars has gone out of his way to enrich the band’s layered sound with programming and techno beats, two other components that hark back to Neonism. As with the album’s precursor Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord, the mercenary crew at work totals ten, with the rhythm section expanded by drummer Baard Kolstad (Borknagar, ICS Vortex), bassist Alexander Bøe (In Vain) and guitarist Petter Hallaråker (Rendezvous Point). 

Recorded in Norway and Tanzania, World Metal features the kalimba and guitar playing of Anania Ngoliga of Zanzibar, a renowned player in the World Music scene. By reaching out to the South, Solefald aim at obtaining a warmer, radiating sound. 

«Back to Africa, returning to the Source/Neonism revived, connecting to the Force» are the opening words of World Music With Black Edges. Densely merging Norwegian Metal, Dutch Techno and Zanzibari guitar strum, the song indulges in a vital, confident celebration of World Culture.

The Germanic Entity delivers a bone-crushing comment on power play in the Norwegian social democracy, indulging in a parodic conspiracy theory casting an informal leader as an emperor of a timeless Germanic dynasty. The guilty pleasure of 1990‘s eclecticism is at work in this song, where the friendly kalimba faces death metal growls, thundering drums and a wall of distorted guitars.

Bububu Bad Beuys is a merry impro piece conceived in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where Cornelius ran about in the studio backyard chasing chickens. World music percussionist Gunnar Augland sets the beat with local percussionist Raz, giving the Norwegian Gringo-singer sufficient wingroom for an assault of total chicken chic. The song ends with a hard-hitting stadium atmosphere developed by Lars. You got it: The letter is B!

Future Universal Histories is a Solefald microcosmos in the song writing style from the days of Neonism, containing a variety of atmospheres and soundscapes within the same song. The lyric describes our world as seen from the pre-World War II days, with a Modernist and a Prussian voice.

As always, Solefald’s sun worship is present in the song Le Soleil, where electro beats, death metal vocals by Sindre Nedland (In Vain, Funeral) and traditional black metal riffs score Edvard Munch’s monumental painting Solen («The Sun»), accompanied by a French/Norwegian poetic rendering by Cornelius - the band’s first French lyric in 12 years.

2011, Or A Knight Of The Fail. When writing Solefald lyrics for the first time since 2010, the need arose to address the terror attacks on Oslo and Utøya on July 22nd, 2011. The crime caused a national tragedy that redefined the Norwegian self-image. The narrator in the lyric expresses helplessness and grief, as well as anger at the idea of someone attacking innocent teenagers at summer camp.

String The Bow Of Sorrow commemorates a departed parent, and expresses sorrow with choirs, tremolo guitars and blazing drum beats. The music carries the hallmark of early Solefald, infused with black/thrash riffs and synth strings. The song contains the 1995 poem that gave the band its name, set to Theodor Kittelsen’s drawing «Solefald». 

Oslo Melancholy is an ambient hymn to the Norwegian capital and endless summer days on land and at sea.

World Metal is painstakingly mixed and tape mastered by Jaime Gomez Arellano at Orgone Studio in London, UK. The result is a massive, majestically sounding album combining analog and digital means of production. Solefald have never sounded better, as badwolfed, as bigmouthed bananas as the Bububu Bad Beuys can be. 

World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud to be released in 2015 via Indie Recordings on the 26th of January in NOR and EU and on the 30 th of January in GSA!

Track list
  • I. World Music With Black Edges (Kosmopolis Sud) - 7.57
  • II. The Germanic Entity (Kosmopolis Nord) - 8.12
  • III. Bububu Bad Beuys - 4.21
  • IV. Future Universal Histories (Umgangskrigen) - 6.50
  • V. Le Soleil - 5.48
  • VI. 2011, Or A Knight Of The Fail (Toteninsel) - 7.00
  • VII. String The Bow Of Sorrow (Solefald, 15.9.1995) - 6.38
  • VIII. Oslo Melancholy (Den Norske Sumaren) - 3.34

  • Lars Are Nedland: Song, Choirs, Synth, Programming & Beats
  • Cornelius von Jackhelln: Voice & Verse, Guitar, Melodica & Kazoo
The Kosmopolis Crew
  • Alexander Bøe: Bass Guitar
  • Petter Hallaråker: Lead & Rhythm Gitar
  • Baard Kolstad: Drums, Percussion
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Sylosis - Dormant Heart

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - Posted by Nuclear Blast, in Albums, Vidéo

'Dormant’ is not a word that you can associate with Reading’s metallers SYLOSIS – the band who have in the past few years alone toured with LAMB OF GOD, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, DEVIL DRIVER and TRIVIUM. As well as playing huge festivals across the globe such as Sonisphere, Wacken, Graspop and Pukkelpop.

»Dormant Heart« is not a peaceful album, it’s a powerful force, unleashing anger against every day injustice and a sleeping society that lets these things wash over them. Frontman Josh Middleton explains: “The title refers to people going through life on autopilot and being one of the herd. How a lot of people simply accept the way things are just because it's 'tradition' as opposed to taking a good look at the world around you and thinking for yourself. Sometimes there are catalysts that happen and change our perspective or consciousness…

One might take this catalyst as being representative of the driving accident that SYLOSIS had on a US tour with TRIVIUM and DEVIL DRIVER in September 2013. Luckily the band escaped the RV accident without major injuries but had to withdraw from the rest of the American shows. It was a big influence on the writing of their fourth album. This isn’t a band that lets the tough gruelling schedule of touring wear them down though and once they’d been patched up and recovered they were back on the road in the UK. The incident did however provide food for thought as to how the band has to some extent a constant element of danger and personal sacrifice. 

SYLOSIS began tracking the album back in March 2014 working away secretly alongside touring commitments. Josh Middleton took a step up on this album producing it himself with the help of engineer Scott Atkins. The album was mastered by TESSERACT guitarist Acle Kahney. Josh says of the recording process “It was great doing some of the recording with Scott again. We've got a good working relationship and he's really dedicated to what he does. We like to strive for a very earthy and organic sound. It adds to the human element and brings out the intensity and vibe in the music.”  

Guitars and vocals were recorded at Wizard Sound Studios in the band’s hometown Reading. Drums were recorded in May at Monkey Puzzle Studios by original drummer Rob Callard who parted ways with SYLOSIS in September 2014 due to time restraints. BLEED FROM WITHINs Ali Richardson is now drumming for the band permanently after filling in for some live shows on the bands spring 2014 tour.

»Dormant Heart« retains the distinctive SYLOSIS sound; a mixture of intense heavy guitar riffs, breakdowns, thudding rhythm and Middleton’s growl. It’s difficult to tie-down the band into a specific type of metal genre. Stomping opener ‘Where The Wolves Come To Die’ unleashes an aggressive start whilst ‘Leech’ provides those breakdowns and epic choruses. ‘Mercy’ demonstrates the mix of galloping rhythm and melodic guitar riffs whilst Josh fiercely declares ‘there’s no redemption’. Aptly named closer track ‘Quiescent’ provides over 9 minutes of solemn prog showing a less forceful side of the band it’s ballad like in nature, with lyrics questioning "Maybe the flames are all they have?’ It’s softer in dynamic but the sense of impending doom remains ‘Fail to rescue// I can see// Now the line is drawn at our feet’.  

Josh summarises the record as their best work to date. “It's the most pissed off, aggressive and intense album we've done, yet it still retains the epic, progressive and melodic side we're also known for. It's a very gloomy and atmospheric album. We've been through a lot as a band and individuals and we've made our darkest album to date.

Line up:
  • Josh Middleton | vocals, guitars
  • Alex Bailey | guitars
  • Carl Parnell | bass
  • Ali Richardson | drums 
  • 1. Where The Wolves Come To Die
  • 2. Victims And Pawns
  • 3. Dormant Heart
  • 4. To Build A Tomb
  • 5. Overthrown
  • 6. Leech
  • 7. Servitude
  • 8. Indoctrinated
  • 9. Harm
  • 10. Mercy
  • 11. Callous Souls
  • 12. Quiescent
  • Bonus tracks:
  • 12. Pillars Erode
  • 13. Zero (Smashin’ Pumpkins cover)
  • Bonus DVD
  • The Dormant Heart Sessions - Live in the studio

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Castle reveal news music video for 'A Killing Pace'

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - Posted by Prosthetic Records, in Vidéo, News

Heavy metal trio to set out on 'California Cult Tour' later this week

Occult influenced heavy metal trio CASTLE will be making their way across California throughout January as they headline the "California Cult Tour" with music from their critically-acclaimed 2014 effort "Under Siege". The band are excited to reveal the vigorously haunting new music video for their single "A Killing Pace", which can be viewed directly below or via YouTube

Described as "hauntingly beautiful" with "crushing riffs" (Examiner), "Under Siege" marks the third overall album for CASTLE since their formation in 2009. Along with it's labryinth themed artwork by Denis Forkas Kostromitin taking a spot on Redefine Magazine's 'Top Album Covers of 2014', the eight-track release saw it's way onto several of the year's 'best of' lists.The band has spent the past year touring in support of it's release with bands including Lord Dying, Cauldron, Anciients, Conan, and Graviators to name a few. 

Don't miss out on seeing their "Sabbathy-riffage" (LA Weekly) live at one of their upcoming stops! 

  • 1/16  Riverside, CA - Back To The Grind
  • 1/17  Palm Desert, CA - Schmidy’s
  • 1/18  San Diego, CA - Tower Bar
  • 1/19  Anaheim, CA - The Doll Hut
  • 1/21   Fresno, CA - Audies Olympic
  • 1/22  San Francisco, CA - The Eagle
  • 1/23   Sacramento, CA - Starlite Lounge
  • 1/24  Redding, CA - Bombays
  • 1/27  Santa Cruz, CA - Blue Lagoon
  • 1/28  San Jose, CA - The Rock Shop
  • 1/29  Oakland, CA - The Golden Bull
  • 1/30  Los Angeles, CA - Five Star Bar
  • 1/31  Ventura, CA - The Garage

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Psycroptic release new track; self-titled album coming march 10

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Posted by Prosthetic Records, in Albums, Vidéo, News

PSYCROPTIC are back with another serving of their very own blend of extreme death metal as they present the brand new single,"The World Discarded", taken from their upcoming self-titled album out via Prosthetic Records on March 10 (US/CA), (Mar 9 - UK/EU). Watch the lyric video premiere now on Metal Injection or streaming below via YouTube!

Marking their sixth overall release, PSYCROPTIC's new self-titled album features nine mind-bending tracks that continue to develop their tech-death roots with a progressive edge, showcased exquisitely with cover artwork (featured above) by Valnoir (The Black Dahlia Murder, Mutilation Rites, Schammasch).

  • 1. Echoes to Come 
  • 2. Ending
  • 3. A Soul Once Lost
  • 4. Cold
  • 5. Setting The Skies Ablaze
  • 6. Ideals That Wont Surrender
  • 7. Sentence Of Immortality
  • 8. The World Discarded
  • 9. Endless Wandering

PSYCROPTIC have previously toured worldwide alongside notable acts including Cannibal Corpse, Suicide Silence, Decapitated, The Faceless, Obituary, Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder, Origin, Despised Icon, Suffocation and several more. Next, they will next appear throughout Australia with Goatwhore following the release of their new album this March! Dates are listed below. 

  • 3/12   Perth, AU - Amplifier Bar 
  • 3/13   Melbourne, AU - Hifi Bar  
  • 3/14   Adelaide, AU - Fowlers Live  
  • 3/15   Ballarat, AU - Karova Lounge 
  • 3/18   Launceston, AU - Club 54 
  • 3/19   Hobart, AU - Brisbane Hotel 
  • 3/20   Geelong, AU - Barwon Club  
  • 3/21   Melbourne, AU - Wrangler Studios 
  • 3/25   Canberra, AU - The Basement 
  • 3/26   Newcastle, AU -- Cambridge Hotel 
  • 3/27   Sydney, AU - The Factory Theater 
  • 3/28   Brisbane, AU - Crowbar

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Vexillum - Unum

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Posted by Limb Music, in Albums, Vidéo

Pisa is primarily known for its leaning tower and less for great heavy metal. But the town has produced a band whose last album, "The Bivouac", shook the metal world awake and established their very own style. However, to describe their style simply as "Heavy Metal" is inappropriate, for the Italians have created a niche of their own. Dashing Euro-Power Metal interwoven with Celtic-/ Nordic-/Folk ingredients is not exactly a description one comes across often in the worldwide metal press.

On their albums, VEXILLUM, named after the individual legionary banner-standards used by legions of the Roman army on the march, realize their vision of hymnic Heavy Metal with an unmistakable stamp of their own. This vision and the uniqueness of this quintet is continued on their newest, epic long-player "Unum". Staying true to their style, they have succeeded in focusing it and bringing out yet more of its strengths. The concentrated work on their own identity has already borne fruit and their fans are looking forward to the new album. There are no unpleasant surprises - VEXILLUM is delivering what is expected of them - and more.

Founded in Pisa in 2004 by Michael Gasparri under the name of "SHADOW VEXILLUM", the formation was followed by several line-up changes before they became a stable group at the end of 2005. In that year the band recorded their first demo CD entitled "Tales" which already showed a musical uniqueness: the combination of Celtic-Nordic-Folk influences with fast, melodic Power Metal elements. The band underlined the sound optically at live shows by appearing on stage in Scottish kilts - and still do so today.

In 2006 Dario Vallesi joined SHADOW VEXILLUM as its new singer and still puts his own unique stamp of style and sound on the band. In the same year they began work on their first EP, "Neverending Quest". Parallel to the recordings, the Italians changed the band's name from SHADOW VEXILLUM to VEXILLUM, once again changing some band members in order to form the best possible conditions for the planned EP.

Musical support was gained by the two VISION DIVINE musicians Alessio Lucatti and Federico Puleri, who made guest appearances on "Rising From The Ruins". The EP was released in 2007 and received very positive reviews from all over the world. Their first important shows were played with bands such as ELDRITCH. In 2010 the band began work on their first album, which kept them busy all through the summer, in order to have it finished before the end of the year. "The Wandering Notes" on the Italian label My Graveyard Productions at the beginning of 2011. The lads' style had made enormous progress and the international press pricked up their ears in interest. Positive reviews confirmed that VEXILLUM had done everything right. The album gave the band the chance to work with friends from other bands, such as Fabio Lione (VISION DIVINE, RHAPSODY OF FIRE) and Alessio Lucatti (VISION DIVINE). The excellent reaction of the press led to VEXILLUM going on tour through Europe with RHAPSODY OF FIRE in February 2011. After the tour, they needed to find a new drummer at short notice and it was in the new formation that the quintet sat down to write the songs for the successor to "The Wandering Notes". From May until July 2012 the highly motivated Italians worked on "The Bivouac", which appeared in the stores on the Limb Music label in September of that year. The band stayed on track musically and thematically and so one once again met up with many of the familiar figures in the stories. They fixed their style in concrete and refined it in order to avoid being mistaken for any other band. "The Bivouac" was also welcomed into the metal scene.

Their style can be compared to bands such as RHAPSODY OF FIRE, LABYRINTH and HEIMDALL, whose influences can be heard, without, however, being simply copied. The album, recorded in the "Wanna Rock" studios, is melodic but has an edgy sound and Darrio Vallesi's voice impresses the listener more and more with his unmistakeable style.

An extensive tour comprising 26 shows with LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY, FREEDOM CALL and ORDEN OGAN at the end of 2012 won VEXILLUM many new fans. In May 2013 they went on tour again, this time with FREEDOM CALL on the "Ages Of Light" Tour, which was also extremely successful. Hardly catching their breath, they immediately began work on "Unum", their third album. The band set their sights a lot higher for this work. "Unum" is a concept album, on which singer Dario Vallesi holds the sceptre as main character. He is supported in his singing role by internationally known vocalists Hansi Kürsch of BLIND GUARDIAN, Chris Bay (FREEDOM CALL), Maxi Nil (JADED STAR, ex-VISIONS OF ATLANTIS) as well as Mark Boals (MALMSTEEN, IRON MASK, RING OF FIRE), who sing the parts of other characters in the story. "Unum" is sure to establish VEXILLUM firmly on the heavy metal map of Europe.

"Unum" stands for a strong mixture of Power and Folk, marked by superfast guitars, great choruses, bagpipes and lots of small finesses, which the listener will notice and register. The cleverly thought-out concept is carried by the impressive vocals of Dario Vallesi and the wall of the dual guitars. The primarily up-tempo tracks often start of with fragments of sounds which convey the mood for the story and which take the listener along on a classical journey. The international guests mentioned above, such as Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN) or Mark Boals (MALMSTEEN, IRON MASK, RING OF FIRE), superbly fill out the songs without forcing themselves into the foreground. The songs, all highly melodic, do not sound overly polished, but the punchy sound blows your socks off. The furiously driving riff attacks harmonize perfectly with the hymnic melodies, which form the axis of the album. This is best heard on "The Sentenced-Fire And Blood", on which Hansi Kürsch places the stamp of his unmistakeable voice. Some of the tracks remind one of HAMMERFALL and ALESTORM without them being shameless copies. Rather, they mix together various influences in order to create songs of their own style. "The Way Back - The Clash Within” is one such power hymn, with a very unique, unforgettable chorus, whilst their own interpretation of the SLADE Hit, "Run Run Away" is sure to cause discussions although this great, intensive version will finally win through. "Unum" has loads of highlights thanks to the many well played musical finesses which manifest themselves in the overall sound, as the listener will realize. All this makes VEXILLUM to the top band of the Italian scene, with an unmistakeable style of great power metal and folk elements.

Line Up
  • Francesco Caprina - guitar
  • Efisio Pregio - drums
  • Dario Vallesi - vocals
  • Francesco Saverio Ferraro -
  • bass
  • Michele Gasparri - guitar
  • 01. The Departure: Blow Away The Ashes 6:46
  • 02. The Jester: Over The Clouds (Chris Bay from Freedom Call as The Jester) 4:57
  • 03. The Sentenced: Fire And Blood (Hansi Kürsch from Blind Guardian as The Sentenced) 5:39
  • 04. Lady Thief: What We Are (Maxi Nil from Jaded Star as Lady Thief) 4:47
  • 05. The Hermit: Through The Mirror (Mark Boals from Ring of Fire as The Hermit) 5:26
  • 06. The Way Back: The Clash Within 5:01
  • 07. The True Beginning: Standing As One 5:54
  • 08. Spunta La Luna Dal Monte (Tazenda) 4:53
  • 09. Run Runaway (Slade) 3:08
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